When the Foundation made the decision to focus its grantmaking almost exclusively on legal services beginning in 2015, it was clear a number of long time grantee organizations would no longer be eligible under the new guidelines. Those organizations received either final grants or two year “phase out” grants.
FAQ Types: What we fund
Our project does not have its own 501(c)(3) status but works under a fiscal sponsor. Are we eligible for a grant?
Yes. If the project is within guidelines you are eligible to apply for funding; we would need the fiscal sponsor’s organizational budget, revenue source list, board list and tax exempt letter. In addition, we will need the budget, revenue source list, and information about the leadership of the fiscally sponsored project as part of your completed application packet.
Can we submit a request for $50,000 for our systemic anti-racism work?
We welcome all requests to address systemic racism that are in the legal services/legal advocacy sphere but please note that the $50,000 grants awarded in July 2020 were one-time grants to a select group of organizations (those with BIPOC leadership and a long standing relationship with the Foundation).
I noticed the Foundation has made larger grants in the $50,000-$100,000 range; how can I apply for a large grant?
We do not accept unsolicited requests for large grants; all large grants are initiated by the Foundation.
What size grant should we ask for?
The majority of grants are in the $7,500 – $30,000 range, however, it is unusual for an organization to receive more than $15,000 for a first-time grant. Also, please note that larger grants ($50,000 and above) are initiated by the Foundation. Please look at the Foundation’s Grants List for more information or contact the Foundation for guidance.
Has the Foundation changed its area of focus or priorities as a result of COVID-19?
The Foundation’s focus remains on legal services and social justice in Northern California. However, we are prioritizing organizations with which we have an existing relationship at this time. If you are new to the Foundation, you may apply but it is highly unlikely that your request will result in a grant.
Do you fund national or statewide organizations?
Yes, if the organization has an office and/or staff on the ground running a program/project in Northern California.
How does the Foundation define Northern California?
We consider Northern California to include Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Alpine Counties and all counties north of these five counties.
What types of organizations does the Foundation fund in service to its mission?
Except for remote counties in the far north where the Foundation supports Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs, the Board focuses exclusively on organizations that provide direct legal services and legal and/or policy advocacy.
Our work is conducted through a fiscal sponsor; what information is needed from them to apply?
If you have a fiscal sponsor, be sure to provide both the information requested about the fiscal sponsor’s organization and information about your work/proposed project including revenue, expenses, and leadership.